Avedis Zildjian the man who found Zildjian Cymbals made “secret aloy” a mix of different materials.
This mix contains copper, tin, and silver. Along with other forms of bronze this mix is used to achieve sound that is Zildjian known for.
In this article I will explore what are Zildjian cymbals made of and what other not secret alloys they use to achieve a certain sound.
What are Zildjian Cymbals made of?
It is also known by B20 (Sabian and Meinl) or CuSn20 (Paiste) and Zildjian Secret Alloy.
It is composed of 80 percent copper and 20 percent tin. It is often with silver traces and silver. B20 isn’t easy in the hands of a professional and requires an extensive reworking and annealing process because of its inherent brittleness.
However, it has been in use for longer than the other forms of bronze. This versatility allows B20 cymbals to be an essential component in every type of music, from rock to jazz.
Zildjian utilizes B20 alloy in its cymbals cast in bronze, which are made entirely in-house, from casting until finishing.
The cymbals include the A, K, A Custom, and the K Custom series. In addition, Meinl employs B20 for the Mb20, Byzance, Candela, and Symphonic series.
Sabian’s HHX, AX, the Xs20, HH, AA, Paragon series, the Paiste’s Twenty, Twenty Masters Collection, and the Formula 602 series also utilize the bronze version.
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B8 comprises 92% copper and 8.9% tin. B8 is also popular to provide a brighter and more focused sound.
One excellent example is the Paiste RUDE series designed for music genres like metal and punk, which typically require loud, sharp cymbals that can cut through the distortion and volume of amplified guitars.
Zildjian also uses B12 bronze for the semi-pro ZHT series that Francis says is “made just like an A, but with a little more brightness.”
Although Paiste doesn’t employ B10 or B12 as a component, it has its trademarked Signature Bronze.
It is a copper-zinc alloy, usually with a 63/37 ratio, which is used in a few cymbals. If you go by these limitations, it is probably not surprising to find that brass has been utilized less frequently than bronze.
It is mainly found in beginner-level lines of instruments. If you’re able to find basic kits that include free cymbals, it’s probably brass.
Zildjian’s Planet Z series line is specifically geared toward those parts of the globe that can’t buy bronze cymbals. Paiste’s PST 3 and Meinl’s HCS are brass cymbals for beginners.
Zildjian secret metal is composed of 80percent copper, 20 percent tin, and trace amounts of silver. Bronze cymbals start as pre-formed disks made of metal with uniform thickness.
The alloys offer the particular potential for a sound, but it is not the only thing. It’s also important to note that the sound of a finished cymbal is the result of craft abilities: hammering patterns, tempering, various lathing techniques, etc.
Each manufacturing stage, aside from the body’s anatomy, such as weight, size, and shape, affects the sound produced by the cymbal.
In addition, none of these alloys is restricted to a particular musical style. For example, we utilize one of our alloys, Signature Bronze, for loud, heavy cymbals such as the Signature Reflector Heavy Full crashes sought after by hard-rock and metal drummers.
However, this alloy can be employed for soft, dark drums suitable for blues, jazz, etc. The line is called the Traditionals line.”